Ryoichi SAITO

"My Birth Place Where Steam Locomotives Used to Run -Hokkaido from 1973 to 1980-"

Pages: 108 / photos: 102
Size: 238×207×15mm / hardcover
Price: 2,500JPY
Release Date: October 2013



In December 1975, the steam powered railway service came to an end in the place where I come from Hokkaido (the northernmost of Japan’s four main islands), the place where the steam locomotives remained in service to the last in Japan. I was a junior in high school then.

With this big change of the energy policy, Japan itself seemed to turn sharply to a new direction. I realize how far we’ve come since then.

I think now is the time to look back on the daily life of the people, the people who lived up north those days, and think about what is past and what is yet to come.

Ryoichi SAITO

"Hometown Festival: Days of Hare"

Pages: 79 / photos: 88
Size: 194×268×15mm / hardcover
Price: 3,800JPY
Release Date: June 2015



Since ancient times in Japan, there has been a well-balanced modulation of life: the ordinariness of everyday life (called ke) being periodically punctuated with the extraordinary aspect of rituals and festivals (called hare). There is a third term, kegare. Some say it means depletion of spirits or energy, indicating the situation in which our energy to live a lively life is running out, and that festivals give us the opportunity to revive our spirits, rejuvenating our lives.

The provinces away from the metropolitan area are facing a very difficult time now. But, when the festivals begin, many people come to the otherwise quiet towns. Surrounded by a splendid atmosphere, those towns are revived as a dreamlike hometown. When seeing the people’s lively faces, I always realize how important the festivals are as everyone’s spiritual mainstay.

I visited many places, looking for a hometown of Japanese people’s heart and soul, which I hope will not be changed while everything is changing.


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